Unless you have been hiding under a rock for a couple of years, there is a chance you are aware of that obsessive anathema regarding the alleged death of fashion blogging.
The rumour has been written in forums, shared, and even printed in t-shirts as a catchy slogan: “Fashion bloggers are dead!”, they say, “Long live Instagram!” This tagline might sound like seasonal news material — a form of objective information, if you please —, once you come closer though, a mild vindictive flavour can be appreciated.
For a long time and as a relatively new industry, blogging aroused suspicion and a great deal of controversy. Certainly, it took some time for the public to understand that blogging was nothing but a digital version to fashion editorials, curated by anonymous people who shared their personal approach to style. In the beginning, there was nothing aspirational about it: most bloggers were mothers, students, or corporate ladies living their lives while blogging for fun.
On a deep level though, it could be argued that it turned into sort of a sisterhood, where normal women could partake of the fun and stop feeling like “Plain Janes”.
This was the starting point from which the blogging empire ascended.
As in any other field, some bloggers started taking a more occupational direction: blog layers were endlessly edited, while outfits became more and more polished. Some started suggesting that authenticity was sacrificed at the expense of professionalisation — a topic stirring passions that would require a post of its own.
The same people (and conservative media) who criticised early authors for their lack of expertise, began resenting their new attitude. Even so, the industry was growing, with a few top bloggers gaining status as respected experts and making a six-figure income.
There was no point in denying reality anymore: fashion blogging was here to stay.
Once bloggers grew into brands and household names, blogging became mainstream. As in any popular industry, the market was suddenly saturated. Many even suggested that the cooperative spirit between bloggers vanished overnight. The same industry which gained momentum as the anti-establishment of fashion, they pleaded, morphed into the materialization of its nemesis.
This was the defining moment in which Instagram was introduced too: a simpler platform that would allow people to post their outfits without the nuisance of composing an entire article around it. Naturally, many saw it as the perfect way to save-up countless hours of writing and editing and dropped off their websites in favour of Instagram. After all, why to spend days working on a blog post when you could easily share your outfit in real-time?
Back in 2016, Tavi Jennison (who became famous by sitting front row at NYFW as an influencer at the age of 12) famously stated: “Yikes, what is the function of this blog anymore? Everything is basically on my Instagram…!”, a sentence that embodied a whole new worldview.
At that point, the question became quite obvious: was fashion blogging dead?
A recent study shows that the Millenial generation prefers social media as an advice resource and the decreasing number of style, outfits and fashion trends blogs seems to provide enough evidence. At the same time, the progressive abandonment of the term blogger in favour of content creator can’t be ignored as a clear indication of this process.
But then, should we all quit our blogs in 2019 and go home?
Personally, I am an optimist: yes, the market might be saturated and highly competitive, and yes, it might be hard to become six-figures income blogging royalty these days (pretty much as hard as becoming a dazzling movie star), but I do believe people are still interested. Nowadays, many blog readers value them as a way to unwind after a hard working day — a certain detachment from social media hectic pace. Maybe, the secret of blogging survival lies in this quality time dimension. Surely, only time will tell. As for now, let me close this article with a good wish:
Long live fashion blogging!
Other accessories: off brand